Weight Loss Motivation – How I lost 45 Pounds in 6 Months

Matt Bodnar - Weight Loss Motivation

Looking for some weight loss motivation? I lost 45 pounds in six months. Over the first half of 2013 I went from a plump 215 pounds down to a much more reasonable 170 pounds.

That’s a BMI drop from a BMI of about 30 (full blown Obesity) to a BMI of 23.7 or just under the level for “normal weight.”

Here’s how the National Heart Institute measures BMI.

  • Underweight = <18.5

  • Normal weight = 18.5–24.9

  • Overweight = 25–29.9

  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

My target weight is 165 with me being decently cut, so that said I probably could shave another 10 pounds of fat off my body right now if I wanted to really push it (I don’t because I’m lazy and getting within a normal BMI has slowed my weight loss motivation down).

To be honest, I’m no good at building muscle and both of these weights I still have a relatively flabby physique without much muscle. I used no magic secrets to get here.

 What’s Your Weight Loss Motivation?

Do you want to know what I did to lose the weight? It doesn’t matter! The tactics do not matter. Tactics are irrelevant. Mindset is everything. Your weight loss motivation is the critical factor that determines your success.

Your mindset on how you lose weight is ALL THAT MATTERS. Period. Once you have the mindset of living a healthy life and making fitness a priority – you will naturally discover that the tactics start manifesting themselves all across your life.

Until you want it more than you want anything else you will never do it. I want you to re-read that sentence and let it sink in.


Here are some other priorities you probably didn’t realize are crowding out your weight loss motivation and your ability to lose weight:

  • Sleep

  • Not getting up when its 5am and its 10 degrees outside

  • Video Games

  • TV

  • Reading

  • Partying

  • “Not Feeling Like Going To The Gym”

  • Working

  • Hanging out with your friends

  • “Being Tired”

  • Not being that annoying person at a meal who won’t eat certain things.

  • Drinking

  • Eating Cake (ohh how do I love cake though, funfetti in particular)

If you aren’t willing to sacrifice any and ALL of those things – you are never going to make meaningful progress. You have to be a rude sometimes. You have to be unreasonable. You have to sacrifice sleep.

You have to be unwilling to compromise on your health decisions. Its your health and its your life – no one is going to hand you fitness. You have to fight tooth and nail every single day to win that battle. Your weight loss motivation has to be iron clad.


Compliance Always Trumps Effectiveness

To put that more bluntly, do the easiest possible things you can to lose weight. You have to make it as easy as possible for yourself. The absolute worst thing you can do to sabotage your weight loss motivation is to make it difficult on yourself.

Doing the “wrong” or “less optimal” (believe me the peanut gallery will chime in on this one) thing for 3 months because its easier is infinitely more effective than doing the “right” thing and quitting a week later because its too hard.

My entire weight loss motivation strategy is based on the core principle of laziness. Doing the easiest possible things in the gym so that I can stay motivated to keep going! I’ll tell you all about exactly what I did to lose the weight but, again, that doesn’t matter at all.


The Best Fitness Advice Ever

Stop listening to everyone who gives you fitness advice. Bloggers, friends, family, and even me!

There’s too much information clutter out there about fitness and health and losing weight. You can literally find “definitive” weight loss motivation advice on polar opposite topics for nearly everything. Some people say eating a big breakfast is critical to losing weight, some people say that never eating breakfast is the best thing you can do! Some people say you should lift with heavy weights for a few reps, others say lighter weights for many reps.

Stop listening to all of it and only listen to your body. That’s right, I’m literally telling you to disregard the way that I did it because it WON’T work for you. You have to do what your body says is right. Not what I tell you to do. You have to do what you mind wants to do. Not what works for other people.

Do what works for you and what your body says is right because everyone’s body is different.

Disregard all of the tactics that I am going to tell you, but make sure you especially ignore those people who have not actually achieved the fitness goals you want to achieve – they have the most dangerous advice (and they will always chime in with their “opinions” about what you should and should not do).


The Magic Secret

Because I know people are going to want to hear this. Here are my tactics. Here’s exactly what I did to lose 45 pounds and maintain my weight loss motivation.

Here’s my magic secret: diet and exercise.

I was an absolute fanatic about going to the gym every single day – and if I couldn’t get to the gym I would get up at 5am and go for a run – no matter where I was or what time of day it was (and I hate running).

I also started watching what I ate like a hawk and followed these general principles:

  •  Stationary Bike for 30-60 minutes 5-7 days a week. This is almost all I did at the gym. The only other thing I would do was a “4 Hour Body” style minimalist workout about once every 2 weeks.
  •  Stop eating breakfast, ever. I drink coffee and eat a banana and that’s it until lunch.
  •  Cut out carbs as much as you can. Real talk – carbs make you fat.
  •  Eat a salad for lunch with a lean protein like chicken.
  •  Try to eat a light dinner 2-4 times a week.
  •  Weigh yourself every morning. It creates an awareness about weight loss and helps you focus.

Keeping the Weight Off

Now that I am in a healthier weight range its about maintenance and not massive cutting. You don’t need to tap into that visceral weight loss motivation anymore, you can ease off the throttle a bit and focus on sustaining.

There are a few principles at work here.

Never be more than 2 weeks away

This is a concept I heard about from Nerd Fitness originally. The idea is genius. Basically – monitor yourself at all times and never get more than 2 weeks away from your ideal shape – that way you don’t have to kill yourself at the gym all the time – but you can maintain the physique you want.

Splurge a little bit every now and then.

It’s not about being hard core all the time. Its about making it a lifestyle and not a one time thing. Sometimes you need to eat crazy meals and order everything off the menu. In fact, a bunch of research shows that sometimes bingeing can help boost your metabolism (remember though, you need to find the right balance for your own body!).

Weigh yourself every day – keep monitoring your weight.

Research also shows that just the awareness of your weight helps you make subconscious decisions to lose weight and be healthier. Weighing yourself every day also helps you know when you’re slipping out of being “more than 2 weeks away.”

Make health and fitness into a LIFESTYLE not an event.

You have to build fitness into your lifestyle. This is more powerful than any short term weight loss motivation. Now I go to the gym 2-3 times a week. If my weight is creeping up there I start cutting back on what I eat and I go to the gym more frequently until I get my weight back in line again. I usually eat whatever I want and do whatever I want – and as soon as my weight starts creeping up I crank the heavy routine back in place until things get back in line.

Resources & Learning More

I realize I told you to disregard nearly all the fitness advice you hear. However, I still wanted to share (because I know people will want it) my two favorite resources on quality weight loss motivation and information.

These sites have helped me lose weight and stay fit. You need to find the sites that can do the same for you and are true to your body. Both of these were very inspirational to me and also provided me with a rough guideline of the tactics that I ultimately used to lose weight.

Nerd Fitness

 4 Hour Body

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.


Matt Bodnar

Matt loves to focus on making deals and big picture strategy. He sets out each day to give more than he takes from every interaction and produce as much value as possible for his partners and the people he works with. As a partner at Fresh Hospitality Matt invests in and operates businesses across the restaurant value chain including agriculture, production, retail distribution, real estate, technology and restaurant operations. Matt previously worked as an import/export consultant in Nanjing, China and spent several years on the Interest Rates Desk at Goldman Sachs before returning to his family roots in Nashville.

4 thoughts on “Weight Loss Motivation – How I lost 45 Pounds in 6 Months

  1. I’m confused. You said not to take anyone’s advise including your own, and yet you left the general principals you followed as a to do list rather than what you did, and did not stress not to follow your plan. This article is extremely misleading. You mentioned to cut out carbs and went so far as to claim bottom line they make you fat, but prior said you ate a banana, one of the highest carb laden fruits available. Please take care when making claims. Sharing your personal experience is one thing, making claims like this is another. Please explain to readers the difference between simple and complex carbs if you care to have a platform.

  2. I actually don’t personally agree with a lot in this article. I feel like a lot of the “advice” is actually very unhealthy.

    Sleep is essential for a healthy body, diet, and healing. You don’t ever want to sacrifice it. Sacrificing sleep is one of the main reason why progress slows for so any people.

    Carbs do not make you fat. Simple carbs and overeating complex carbs do. The right carbs keep you going and give you that energy to where you’re not “too tired to go to the gym”. You need them. Statistics show that those who don’t eat healthy carbs tend to fall back into their old ways.

    I don’t believe it is at all healthy to check your weight every day. Your weight fluctuates and it is statistically proven to be a number one cause for people to give up on their diet. It’s an unhealthy outlook because you’re teaching that self love and happiness comes from the number on a scale. It’s a good way to track your progress if you check every now and then but shouldn’t be done daily due to natural changes in your body.

    Depending on what time of day you normally work out, eating a salad, even with chicken, isn’t a good choice. It’s okay every now and then but your body needs that energy to push through your workout otherwise you won’t give it your all and you’ll wonder why your progress is slow or nonexistent.

    There are very few articles that talk about benefits of not eating breakfast but there are more than enough that explain why that’s not right and a very unhealthy choice. Your breakfast is what kick starts your metabolism in the morning and subconsciously can set your food choices for the rest of the day and cause binging or snacking on things you shouldn’t. Breakfast gives you the energy to get through the day and accomplish them and make you more mentally prepared, which is important because, that’s where it all starts. You gotta be mentally prepared to succeed at a healthy lifestyle.

Leave a Reply